Many employers expect to see salary requirements stated clearly on a job application so that they can categorise candidates based on a budget, in addition to skills and qualifications. Mentioning your salary expectations reduces mutual misunderstanding, saving both potential employers and candidates time when a company's budget doesn't match the candidate's expectation. If you're shy or just not sure of how much your time is worth, writing salary requirements in your job application could be one of the most difficult aspects of the job search process.
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Determine your salary requirements for a position based on factors such as your current salary, where the new position will be located, the cost of living in that city, whether relocation will be paid for by the company, what responsibilities the new position entails, your job description, other benefits and how well you think your experience and qualifications match the position's requirements. Research what similar or comparable positions pay at the same company or at other companies in the same industry and/or city. Talk to the recruiter with whom you are working or visit forums related to your industry. Based on these calculations, arrive at an hourly or annual figure that you believe is reasonable for that particular position.
State your salary requirements in the format specified in the company's job application. Some companies expect to see a range, others require a minimum salary expected or your salary history. Some leave the choice to you. Read the employer's instructions carefully before specifying your requirements. Avoid providing unnecessary information or moving away from the format provided in the application. If there is no specific field in the application form to enter salary details, then state your salary requirement towards the end of your cover letter in a manner that you are comfortable with. For example, you could say," Based on the description of this position, my salary requirements are in the range of $XXXX -- $YYYY."
Clarify or support your salary requirements saying that the base salary is negotiable depending on benefits, relocation package and other factors. Or, you could say that your current base salary is $XXX and you enjoy A, B, C benefits. So in order to accept the new position, your minimum requirement would be $XXX negotiable based on benefits.This way, you leave the doors open for discussion and show the potential employer that you are flexible about the exact numbers.
Tips and warnings
- Write your salary requirements toward the end of a cover letter or application.
- Do your research and try to provide a range that is within the employer's budget.
- If your salary expectation is significantly larger than industry average or the employer's budget, support it with the unique and valuable skills that you bring to the table.
- Unless requested, avoid providing salary requirements until the interview or discussions stage.
- If specifically requested by the employer, do not omit writing salary requirements in your application.
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